Her funeral was today but I'm wondering why I was trying so hard to grasp what the pastor was saying about her being gone? I shut off so much during the last few days including today. I need to really let go and start healing. All those memories of the Nursing Home and the hospital keep popping in my head. I guess it became the worst of her struggle, the oxygen, the struggling for breath, not being able to walk or eat. I know I did the best I could. The constant worrying about mom began 4-5 years ago when this all started. Not only was it a difficult time for her, but for us as well, is that selfish of me to even say that? If it hadn't been for her heart condition, she could have lived a lot longer with the dementia, although there were only very small fragments of her left. Thanks for letting me air it out.
The following 2 users give hugs of support to: dorri aras (01-04-2013), bearcubs (01-04-2013)
I felt the same way after my mom died. After all the years of dealing with all that we did, it seems so unreal when, poof, it is all over. We know it will eventually come to a screeching halt, but when it does we are left scratching our heads.
As we learned during the ever changing symptoms of the disease, we struggle to deal with the new normals. This is one more. The Big one! The new normal of them being gone.
I wish you peace in the days to come ....and rest.
Dorri, the mind handles what it can when it can. Many times shutting down is needed to move through the grief process. Perhaps your memories are trying to tell you that Mom is now at peace and that it is ok. The time our loved ones have this disease is not only hard on them but also hard on everyone that loves them. That is reality and has nothing to do with selfishness. There are two people involved in Mom's illness... her and YOU! You have to acknowledge the emotional, physical, and spiritual stress it put on you, your sister, and everyone else.
There are always ifs! If Mom had not had heart disease she might have lived a little longer. If Mom had not had dementia she might have had a very different life. If Mom could eat she might have lived a little longer. There are an infinite number of ifs. If Mom had not had such good care she might not have lived this long is another one. It is not for us to decide her time by what we do or do not do. There is a higher authority that makes those decisions. As I said in the other post... we are NOT in control. Let your mind accept what it can when it can.... but know that you did all that you could in the moment
As for the new normal... you will find it. Give yourself time and be patience. I hope you find the contentment you need.
Thanks Deb, hope all is well, haven't seen you on the board recently.
Thanks for your reply Meg and Deb. After thinking about this long and hard, think I know what it is that is bothering me. After going back and spending a lot of time with mom on a prolonged visit, I watched her, not so much in pain, but suffering like I said in my original post. She wasn't able to do anything for herself anymore, her quality of life had totally gone. I'm surprised she survived as long as she did on next to nothing except for a bit of fluid here and there. Now here's what makes me feel bad, after seeing mom suffer day after day I wanted her to go, for God to take her, so she would be spared the suffering. Now that she has gone, I feel like a terrible person for thinking that way, also I am just plain tired. I can't feel anymore. It wasn't just what was happening the month and a half prior, it's what's been happening for the last 4-5 years, the worry, the guilt, the frustration and even anger, could that be why I am with little emotion now because I can't believe that it is over. Could that be why I can't believe she is gone, because I've been so use to the same pattern with mom that it's taking me time to see that it is over. I'm not even sure that is it, or if there is more??? Think I need to catch up on sleep.
The following user gives a hug of support to dorri: aras (01-04-2013)
Dorri... you are so right about so much so please don't second guess yourself. The feelings you have at the end of this disease are unlike any other. I too wished for an end to my Mom's suffering. Nobody wants their loved one to suffer. There are things worst than death. This is ok. It is ok! There is no reason to feel guilt or anger because you wanted your Mom free. You are not a terrible person but a daughter who loved her Mom very much and wanted what was best for her. You were willing to let her go to stop her suffering... what an unselfish gesture! You didn't wish her dead... just free.
Yes, we are both exhausted... just tired of the day to day grind of this disease for years and years. This is what this disease does to you. It wears you down bit by bit by bit and leaves you with so little. As for the emotions you think you should be feeling... you have felt them all. What has happened, as with me and so many others as well, is that we have grieved the loss of our loved ones one little piece at a time. When they stop talking, stop walking, stop going to the toilet, stop eating, stop drinking... on and on and on... we grieve each little loss. When they finally stop breathing, we have grieved and what we actually feel is a blessed relief for them and for us. It is what this disease does. So please so not second guess what you are feeling. It is natural and normal in this disease.... especially when it has gone on for years and years.
And I feel just as you do adjusting to what will be my new normal in life. Mom has occupied most of my thoughts for the last 6 years. I was going to see Mom, just got back from Mom's, with Mom, or dealing with something related to Mom most of the time. Then at 5:02 on December 31 it stopped. There were services to plan but that was not the same. In a flash I was untethered from life as I knew it and set adrift to find a new life. It has been a little disconcerting but I look forward to it with excitement... after a few good nights of sleep.
Take time for yourself now. Know you do not have to worry about your Mom. She is in a better place. You now have time to concentrate on yourself and where you want to go. You can take your time now Just know that there is nothing odd or strange going on... you are just working your way through the emotions created by the long process of this disease.
Thanks Deb, you always make me feel better with your words of wisdom. I've been thinking of you also and know that you are going through a lot as well.
It doesn't really matter how prepared we think we are, does it? for when the time comes, there is still void and loss there. If I linger with the negative thoughts, it will get the rest of me. I wouldn't want that for anyone here, nor do I want it for myself.
I look forward to finally looking after myself, and God willing I will find the strength and peace to do so. Deb, your response pushed me in the right direction. Dementia took peace from the entire family. As mom was deteriorating we were always on our toes, just like we would have been for any other sick family member. When the phone rang in the middle of the night, we cringed to think it was the Nursing Home. I even cringed everytime my sister who was closest in distance to mom would call day or night, thinking she had some bad news about mom. We never knew, it was like walking on thin ice, not quite knowing when the ice would break. That I can lay to rest with mom's passing.
Thanks for your support. It's helping to sort it all out.
The following user gives a hug of support to dorri: ninamarc (01-05-2013)
I don't think we are ever ready for the end but when it is over we do realize just how leased we were to this disease. It's a strange mix of grief and relief and I think those conflicting feelings do take time to work out. Both is appropriate and normal. We tend to think we need the grief even if we have grieved for years. We do not understand the relief at first. Just know that whatever balance of the two you have is good for you How you deal with the end says nothing about how much you loved during their life. It is just the way you grieve!
There is always a void when we miss someone. Rather than focusing on what I do not have now, I focus on what I had. I was blessed and still am
I would think in peace that you had done the best for Mom. There is no prediction with this disease. When it happened, it took us by surprise but not exactly very shocked...
Yes it is a comfort to say that they are gone and suffer no more from dementia. It helps to say he would suffer too much if he stays longer... My late FIL was in severe stage and almost stopped eating so his heart attack/stroke let him go earlier. He was also a little bit aware of his disabilities like no talking/walking.
Still I know what you mean by missing your Mom. You wish Mom is still here with you.
It is natural to feel that way. Just focus on the good things while she was alive. The good memory. The bad part was the caregiving but you guys did the best. It was hard work - hard to deal with a demented person day in and day out.
Perhaps it is time for her to go. I like to think that it was time for my late FIL to go. He would not like to live that way as a severe demented patient. Now he is at peace.
I am sure we all missed our loved ones. Please keep her good memory in your mind.
Be assured that you have done the best for Mom.
Thank you Nina, I think you are right, considering that mom lived 500 miles away from 2 of her daughters, we did do our best running back and forth putting our immediate family on the back burner, and with me I often neglected my health as well everytime I was with her. So it is okay to rest and feel the relief as our parents are doing right now. My mom, like your father would not want to go on with the dementia and neither would we want to watch them suffering more than they already were. My mom, like so many had a beautiful and full energetic life before she got sick. Dementia bound them, restricted them and put them in a cocoon where they remained dormant from their past lives and activities, but like all cocoons, follows new birth. Mom loved to dance, I see her dancing and happy and free. Death brought them freedom so it is a celebration of life as Deb had said.